Things That Make You Go Hmm...

I found something interesting yesterday while researching something for a column. Search Technorati for "Ford Bold Moves" (without the quotes) and you'll find something very disappointing. You will see a huge number of returns for blogs that carry a Ford Bold Moves comment spam ad.I say it's comment spam because the ads are apparently not related to the content of the posts at all. There are posts about cell phones, computing, news stories, video games and all sorts of other things that are irrelevant to Ford, yet there's this text in comments that reads "FORD BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD. A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time" I notice that at least one auto blog that got picked up by Technorati for this search term has deleted the comment, so it appears people other than me are perceiving it as spam.

Here's the kicker: The ad links are all redirects from DoubleClick. Obviously, that's so that whoever is running this comment spam campaign can track clicks. And guess who shows up on DoubleClick's customer testimonials page? The clickthrough URLs also seem to be carrying some interesting information, consistent with click-tracking applications that run on the advertiser side.

From the outside looking in, this has all the identifying marks of an official Ford comment spam campaign. Yes, it could be a rogue affiliate from some sort of affiliate program, but I doubt it. Ford has some 'splainin' to do.